|Scene from Threads|
But voice aside, this story breaks my heart. Its depictions of loneliness and pain are paired with the characters' compromised efforts to find respite from their loneliness and pain. Yunior and Miss Lora both concern themselves with apocalyptic films because life has "messed [them] up good" and they project their internal destruction into external destruction. Yunior and Miss Lora have many similarities: both are immigrants from the Dominican Republic, both physically muscular, both traumatized by family life, both sleeping with their teachers. The way things repeat in the story (e.g. Miss Lora wears her red dress at one graduation, and then another) is similar to the greater picture of how history repeats itself (like-father-like-son machismo, or more sweepingly, one answerless death like another). And "blood always shows," as Yunior tells his ambitious girlfriend. Miss Lora has enormous eyes, and she sees the pain in young Yunior, and he finds her need for him compelling. Sometimes, our response to being exposed to trauma is to seek it out in representations, such as movies, or books, or photographs in which we are smiling and blinking and keeping on keeping on.